Tony Fields II 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 220 pounds
School: West Virginia
Tony Fields II 2021 NFL Draft Profile
From Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tony Fields II started his journey to the NFL Draft as a three-star recruit with offers from solid Division I programs, such as Northwestern, Arizona, and Arizona State. The eighth-ranked player in Nevada for his class, Fields ultimately chose to play for Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats.
As a true freshman for the Wildcats, Fields had an unbelievable season. In the PAC-12, Fields had 104 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks in 13 games played, which in and of itself is incredibly rare for a true freshman. Out of these 13 games, Fields had at least ten tackles in seven of them, including in a bowl game against Purdue. To add on, Fields also intercepted a pass and added a pass defended to his resume. Fields primarily played the WILL linebacker spot as a freshman despite his size, at under 220 pounds. Former Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates had high praise for Fields as a freshman, “he flies to the ball and plays with that effort that we want. He’s a guy that I call a ‘hitter and a runner.’ He wants to hit and he runs to the ball.”
Fields continued to be “hitter and a runner” over the next two seasons for the Arizona Wildcats, under Kevin Sumlin. Despite being undersized, Fields remained aggressive at filling gaps, yet disciplined in the run game as evident by 89 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore. In his junior season, Fields continued his solid tackling and displayed awareness in coverage, notching an interception, three passes defended, and a forced fumble. In the run game, Fields remained stout with 94 tackles and five tackles for loss.
After graduating in 2019, Fields entered the transfer portal. As a graduate transfer, he had his sights set on Morgantown and joined the West Virginia Mountaineers. At West Virginia, Fields also took on a bigger part of the defense, transitioning to the MIKE position. Again, Fields was remarkably consistent for the Mountaineers, posting 88 tackles and four tackles for loss, while intercepting one pass.
As a whole, one word that comes to mind about Fields’ college career is consistency. Whether that be through his stout and reliable tackling in the running game or awareness in zone coverage, Fields played his role on the defense at both Arizona and West Virginia. While he is undersized, Fields was incredibly disciplined and decisive against misdirection plays, highlighting his discipline on defense. Finally, Fields II enters as a late-round draft prospect in 2021.
- Excellent athleticism at the linebacker position with a 4.5 40-yard dash and 7.06 3-cone at pro day;
- Reliable tackler at the line of scrimmage; quick to fill and attack gaps in the run game;
- Excels in blitz situations with speed off the edge or up the middle;
- Incredibly disciplined defender on read options or misdirection concepts;
- Provides quality special teams value early in his NFL career;
- Solid coverage skills, especially in zone coverage, where he has shown the ability to make a play on the football with three career interceptions.
- Undersized at the linebacker position at just 6’-1’’, which could cause issues block shedding in the NFL;
- Despite athleticism, he hasn’t shown consistency in man coverage against tight ends and slot receivers;
- Limited to a WILL linebacker at the next level;
- Not the “hardest hitting” linebacker, but is usually reliable.
NFL Comparison: Deone Bucannon
Teams with a Need at Linebacker: Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots
Projection: 4th-6th Round
Bottom Line on Tony Fields II
While Fields II may not have the prototypical build for a linebacker in the NFL, his production at Arizona and West Virginia cannot be denied. He has shown the ability to be a reliable tackler, with 375 tackles in college, an important skill in the NFL with the emphasis on yards after catch, and a weapon in blitzing situations. Early on in his NFL career, Fields will also be an important piece on special teams. There have been instances where undersized linebackers have been successful in the NFL. Matt Milano has been an excellent find for the Buffalo Bills and Deone Bucannon has been the “pillar” of hybrid prospects for years. A team like the Washington Football Team could find Fields enticing because of his ability to play the WILL position, as there have been concerns as to a potential position switch for Landon Collins.
In a very deep linebacker class, headlines by Micah Parsons, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Jamin Davis, Fields could find himself as a Day Three prospect. However, Fields II would provide tremendous value at this stage in the draft as a special teams presence and nickel linebacker early in the NFL career.
Embed from Getty Images